THE Dean of All Saints’ Cathedral, Albany, in the United States, the Very Revd David Collum, has resigned after differences of opinion with his diocesan bishop, the Rt Revd William Love, over same-sex marriage.
Both Dean Collum and Bishop Love deny that these differences prompted the resignation.
Dean Collum resigned last week, two months after Bishop Love preached at the cathedral in opposition to same-sex marriage, causing several members of the congregation to walk out, a local newspaper reported. The Dean’s final service will be one month after his resignation was announced.
Bishop Love is one of seven out of more than 100 Episcopalian bishops who have opposed same-sex marriage publicly.
After the walkout by parishioners, Dean Collum told his local newspaper that "people were struggling with it."
But, in his letter to the congregation informing them that he was resigning with a "heavy heart", Dean Collum said: "Given the controversies surrounding the larger Church, some may conclude my action is a reaction to the challenging situation. I would assure you that it is not."
Accepting the Dean’s resignation, Bishop Love said in a message to the diocese that the Dean would be "greatly missed".
A spokeswoman for Bishop Love said: "I can say that Dean Collum’s resignation had nothing to do with any differences with the Bishop over same-sex marriage."
The diocese of Albany has suffered splits over the issue of same-sex marriage before: Bishop Love’s predecessor, the Rt Revd Daniel Herzog, left the Episcopal Church for the Roman Catholic Church in 2007, after opposing the consecration of the openly gay former Bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt Revd Gene Robinson. Three years later, Bishop Herzog returned to the Episcopal Church.